Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As the hours pass, only two groups remain, including Lina’s. The bald man complains that they would be better off dead, and Mrs. Arvydas points out that they are lucky not to have been sold as slaves. Andrius, Jonas, and Lina discuss why their parents have been put on the list to deport. They lie in the grass and relish the freedom to move around. Jonas notes that a cloud looks like a cannon, and Lina muses that she wishes it were a cannon that could blow up the Soviets. Andrius notes that she has a “mouthful of opinions,” and Jonas notes that Kostas always told Lina to be careful.
The fear of retaliation from the Soviet Union is so great that even those who have suffered greatly under the torment of the NKVD refuse to make statements that can be construed as insulting. Lina, however, is still young, and has no problem declaring how much she hates the people who want her dead. She finds Andrius’ warnings patronizing, and like Kostas’, they are to an extent, even if they come from a place of care.
Themes
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
In a flashback, Lina recalls Kostas finding a caricature Lina drew of Stalin such that he was wearing a clown suit. Kostas and his friends with whom he discussed politics are depicted as throwing paper airplanes at him. Kostas demands to know if there are more drawings like this, and Lina replies that there aren’t. Kostas is furious, because he is afraid what would happen to the family and his friends if anyone in the Kremlin were to see it. He rips up the drawing and throws it in the fire. Back in the present, Andrius asks Lina if she is serious about wanting the Soviets to be blown up. Lina replies she just wants to go home and see her father, and Andrius nods in agreement.
Lina recalls this anecdote because it points to Kostas’ fear that he is being watched and is a potential target by the NKVD. He also realizes that Lina is parroting his opinions and channeling them into her artwork. As Lina’s father, Kostas will never forgive himself if he has taught her to repeat sentiments that can get her, and the rest of the family, killed. Looking back on this moment, Lina acknowledges that Andrius is probably right—her life likely depends on her ability to keep quiet.
Themes
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon